Q&A: high school, acting and cancer

4 April 2013

London skies are spitting white chunks today.  Maybe I wasn't too off about Christmas in April.  For no particular reason, I stopped going on tumblr for most of the last six months.  Having been back recently, I remember how wonderful internet curation can be.  But it's also a really good place to get your sadnesses and anxieties a pat on the back.  Which makes me think I'm better off without it. We'll see.

I also get really grumpy when photos are uncredited and damn near impossible to trace back to their original source.

5 anonymous questions from the recesses of my tumblr ask.

What was high school like for you?
I've been thinking about how high school now seems like a lifetime a way.  I even feel removed from university, and I'm still in it.  High school was spent with me wishing I was more popular whilst being known as the quiet, smart kid.  I kind of felt like the "new kid" all three years.  I was shy, and I hated my sweaty palms and blushing betrayal of my nerves.  I cared a lot more about what I looked like, and I feel like I worked much harder at my studies.  If I had a semester with an assigned lunch slot with no one I knew, I would eat in the library to avoid having to ask an acquaintance if I could sit with them.  I wasn't bullied, but I was probably pretty lonely.  The internet filled that void, I suppose.

How do you drink your tea?
Milk, one sugar.

You really need to go into professional acting. Do you think you ever will once you finish college or something?
I had a couple of questions of this strain after promoting the short film I acted in for my YouTube friend Jake Sidwell (Cohenism).  I have a love/hate relationship with acting.  And what I think it comes down to is that I don't love it enough to pursue it full-time.  I took two acting classes while at uni in Los Angeles, and went on a couple of auditions for student films.  But to be an actor, your full-time job is auditioning.  And you have to be tough to endure that kind of lifestyle.  I didn't want that to be my life.

Have you ever had to deal with a close family member having cancer, or a serious illness? How do you deal with that?
My grandfather left his beautiful Chicago apartment, a block from the lake, and moved in with my family when I was around 15.  He was nearly 80, and caring for his wife's worsening dementia had taken a toll on his health.  Not long after, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  Dotted throughout high school, I would have mornings I would drive Granddad to the hospital for a procedure when my dad had work.  I think the hardest part was seeing him come out of surgery all groggy, disoriented, and morose.  As far as dealing, I think it was my grandfather's personality that kept me distant from it.  Though we lived under the same roof for four years, he was very reclusive and quiet.  Because he never complained about his cancer to me, it strangely became normal even though I knew he was often in a lot of physical pain.

What is it like to live in London with an American accent?
Not gonna lie, I still occasionally slip into an Alisha-style accent when I'm at shops.  People sometimes get confused as to how an American would know about a more "local" place.  I have to remind myself not to do it at university because people there know I'm American.

1 comment

  1. There's something about that photo I really love. I can't stop going beck to it. I know what you mean about feeling lonely in high school. I'm at an English secondary school so I've been in the same place for 7 years. I don't know whether that makes it better or worse. It's maybe not so bad as you describe but a lot like it a lot of the time...